Thursday, December 6, 2018

Your Tops for 2018

For those of us who are devoted to Spotify we have just received our Top Songs list for 2018. It's not a big surprise to me that many of the songs near the top of the list are from bands I've seen this year. 

It's been a fantastic music year...as I look back at it all.

Caught Up in the Moment
As I scanned through the long list of music I realized I had 'forgotten' some of the songs and bands. How could that happen so quickly? One day at the top of my playlist, and the next I don't even remember them?

How is that possible?

...and then I thought about all of the work my team has done this year...


One day I'm deep into an issue...and the next I don't even remember?

How is that possible?

Time to Reflect
As we stare down the end of another year, and before the blogosphere gets crowded with resolutions and fresh start messages, I thought my Spotify-moment was worth raising as a pathway to considering all of the work you and your team have accomplished this year.

If you're anything like me, the minute a big initiative is successfully completed I am going full speed into the next one...and now that I'm no longer, shall we say, young-ish, I don't always remember all of those successes.

I think something wonderfu is lost in the hustle to always launch the 'next big thing' as quickly as possible, don't you?

How About You

As you wrap things up for 2018, take some time to reflect with your team on the successes of the past year. Talk about those wins. Re-congratulate each other for quality work that made a difference. Savor those moments...you're part of a special group of people all working toward the same goals. 

That my friends is a blessing we should never take for granted.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Crash and Burn Leadership

Wait, what?

We're leaders. We don't have time for anything ever, let alone ourselves, right? 

We care for others!
We care for our teams!
We care for our CEOs!
We care for the employees!

We...crash and burn. That's what we do.

We crash. 
and. 
burn.

Give Give Give
What is it about being a dedicated leader that makes us all feel like we're supposed to work ourselves into oblivion? I mean, seriously...sometimes over the years I've pushed myself beyond what would be a reasonable limit.

And for what? How many of us were recognized for arriving at 6:00am everyday? I know the answer.

None of us.

But, wait a minute. Those early hours, late nights, and weekends diving into that task list paid off for us! We were on top of our workload...connected with everybody...and executed on time, every time.

But at what cost?

Self Care is Beast Mode
For those of you that believe self-care is a soft cop out I have news for you.

"There is no glory in pushing yourself so hard 
chasing an imagined super-hero image 
that you have nothing left to give. 
You've simply failed."

The real "A-players" of leadership focus on a lot more than their Inbox and task list. Here are a few things that make it to the top of their priority list:
- spending time listening to the employees
- exercising
- intentionally slowing down
- reading
- eating (reasonably) healthy
- meditating or praying
- networking for the sake of connecting, not for pure professional gain
- reading (a real book or a digital one)
- taking time off

...and you can continue to add to the list...


How About You
Do you matter enough to your organization, your team, your family and to yourself to go all beasty with your own self-care? It's not going soft...it's actually stepping up in a profound and impactful way.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Great Unsaid

"Oh, yes...he has always acted that way. It's just part of life here."

"She does that all the time...her team has learned to work around her."

"When he gets in one of his moods, look out!"

"She's always rude and interrupts..yet we hold everyone else accountable for that."

All Quiet on the Corporate Front
We've all experienced this bizarre phenomenon. Leaders are allowed to behave poorly, yet we're fast as lightning to hammer employees who act the same way.

What holds us back from speaking up? Do we actually believe our career path will be compromised by leading? Could we be ostracized from our peer group for addressing the very public skeleton in our shared corporate closet? 

"It is perhaps the greatest failure of leadership...that is... to passionately espouse the values of the organization, and fail so miserably to hold it's leaders to that standard."

Speak Up or Fail
Consider what happens to the front line employees when leaders are allowed to behave like fools:
- morale tumbles
- engagement evaporates
- turnover rises
- revenue dwindles

Why would we ever wish for these things to happen to our organizations? Yet, when we remain silent on leadership behavior, we are stating quite loudly that we WANT these terrible things to happen. 

There is no in-between stance...if you do not speak up and coach, counsel, or discipline poor leadership behavior, you are in fact endorsing a dark and painful course for your company.

How About You
I don't even have to ask...you already have the name of the person in your head that fits this post. So, what will you do the next time they 'do their thing?" Perhaps stare at your shoes and hope they stop talking; or, have a very direct, professional, and purposeful discussion with them?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Influencer

What comes to mind when you hear the term influencer? Is it a prolific blogger or motivational speaker? Perhaps it's a celebrity or someone 'larger than life?' Maybe it's someone with a ba-zillion followers on a social channel?

While those labels have merit, they are far from what I now believe a true influencer actually is.

You Are Bigger Than the Internet
I'm not even sure I was aware of the term 'influencer' before the age of the Internet and social media. But I had important influencers in my life ranging from family members and teachers, to college professors and leaders in the workplace.

They made a tremendous impact on my life, and no one had even heard of something called a tweet yet.

You Are More Than Your Job
As I moved into formal leadership roles and later senior management positions, the impact of my own influence started to become clear. Not only did I have 'automatic influence' simply because of my authority level, I found that I had the ability to make a difference personally with my colleagues and team members.

That is powerful!

When influence becomes a responsibility instead of a chase for followers, one's mindset begins to shift. 


How About You
Consider the individual moments in your life...with family, friends, colleagues and peers. Those little encounters, private coaching moments, shared insights and bold decisions are what really define being an 'influencer.'

What do you think?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Rising

Some candid stuff today...and a quick 'cut to the chase.' 

I've been doing a lot of introspective work lately. As in a L O T.

Old Habits Don't Help
Turns out my world-class skill of compartmentalizing every facet of my life turned out to be a flawed strategy. Oddly enough, as I was writing this post an incredible thread blew up on twitter discussing...well...men struggling with being human vs. some sort of fake persona that is completely unrealistic and unhealthy. Whoa! That hit close to home!

So, my personal deep dive is in full swing. 

Doing the Work
It's hard work.
At times it's humiliating work.
In the end, I hope it will represent a meaningful change on many levels.

No, I'm not hitting the bottle or having a mid-life crisis. I am simply pushing to be my best self, so that I can be the best person possible for those around me.


How About You
What challenges are you facing (or perhaps hiding from?) Are you hoping to find the courage to push yourself to a whole new level..to a new quality of life? 

As for me so far...it's been totally worth it.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Reunited and Returned

A question for you today...do you feel as if you've 'figured it all out?' I'm not being a smart you-know-what here. I'm actually curious if you feel that way. 

Honesty is the Best Policy
To be honest with you, I kinda feel like I had it all figured out for a while. That turned out to be a pretty self-centered viewpoint. Think about it...with all of the challenges of work, our personal "stuff" that we carry...or have carried around with us...plus a world that seems to be so bitterly divided, how in the world could anyone have it all figured out?

Lots to process. Lots to think about. Lots of people we interact with each day, and all of this internal noise blasting nonstop.

Or maybe it's just me?

Stepping Up
It's an odd thing...wanting to step up and be better. Who puts that pressure on us? Is it our coworkers or family? Is it clients or our network of peers? Perhaps it's our faith perspective, or simply our sense of justice, duty or doing the right thing that is the source?

What drives us to push ourselves so hard to improve? 

Yes, I'm going deeper today...it's good for me...and you too. When do we thoughtfully, intentionally, commit to 'being better people' and then execute on that plan?

I'm all in.

How About You
What drives you? Is it work, personal healing, an inner passion, or something else happening in the world? 

For me, it's as if I've been reunited with...well...myself. Returning to that person who saw everything as an exciting opportunity to make a difference.

I'd love to hear from you


No Excuses.

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inspiration

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Finding My Way

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but I've found myself in somewhat of an awkward place. 

Professionally, I have a terrific job with a company that is being recognized in the industry and growing fast. I love human resources work...it just matches everything that I believe is important about the life and success of an organization. 

That all sounds pretty good, right?

But...
Somehow, though, a cynical view has snuck up on me. 

I don't like that. 

I don't want to be someone who complains about the complainers. I don't want to sound like the angry guy who is just another know-it-all. I don't want to be someone who isn't living the way he truly wants to live.

So...I'm doing something about it. A huge part of my personality is based (often times as the brunt of jokes) on being overly positive. Sometimes even missing the reality of a situation because I refuse to see anything but the positive side!

That personality trait...that I have relied on to carry me through for so many years...has become a bit more elusive lately. 

I don't like that either.

Getting Focused
I'm going to dial-in more than ever to what used to be my default reaction, to an intentional, thoughtful response to the world around me. 

Staying positive has to be the starting place. 
Staying positive has to be my go-to style. 
Ending positively has to be the way.

Maybe this all sounds hokey. Probably true. But for me, taking a proactive approach to how I live my life versus my "life living me" is essential. I've taken big steps in my health, faith, nutrition and fitness. Now it's time to lock down the last and most challenging part...

...my mindset.



How About You
What has become elusive in your life? What behaviors have crept in that you want to lock down? Don't be afraid of confronting them...you can do it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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